TECO's energy professionals – skilled technicians and engineers with years of experience – operate and maintain its two district energy plants on the Texas Medical Center campus in Houston, Texas.

TECO operates in extremely hot and humid conditions with an average 3,510 annual cooling degree-days. Its Central Plant (the Paul G. Bell, Jr. Energy Plant) and South Main Plant house a total of 120,170 tons chilled-water capacity and 980,000 lb/hr steam capacity. The two interconnected sites have 27 chillers and nine boilers. TECO’s distribution system has 35+ miles (7.7 trench miles) of piping ranging in size from 6 to 60 inches in diameter. (See detailed system metrics below.)

TECO’s Central Plant was expanded between 2007 and 2011 and features a 48 MW combined heat and power system and an 8.8 million-gallon thermal storage tank.

TECO also remotely operates a customer-owned energy plant for The University of Texas Health Science Center on TMC’s South Campus.

System Metrics

Through August 31, 2022 Chilled Water Steam


Number of customers 17 15
Number of buildings served 51 37
Square feet served 25.42 million 20.6 million


Paul G. Bell, Jr. Energy Plant – Central Plant

Number of boilers, chillers/fuels 14 chillers
electricity & natural gas
7 boilers
natural gas & diesel
Thermal storage tank 8.8 million-gallon chilled-water storage tank n/a

South Main Plant

Number of boilers, chillers/fuels 13 chillers/electricity 2 boilers/natural gas & diesel


Capacity 120,170 tons (including thermal storage) 980,000 lb/hr (with heat-recovery steam generator & duct firing)
Supply temperature 40°-43° F 450° F
Supply pressure 55-90 psi 400 psi plant, 250 psi distribution
Return temperature 52°-55° F 150° F
Water volume in system 12.4 million gallons n/a
Steam pressure n/a 400 psi
Piping type Welded steel coated with coal/tar epoxy Welded steel, Schedule 40 with insulation
Piping diameter 6 to 60 inches 2 to 16 inches
Piping distribution trench length 7.7 miles 7.7 miles (portions of the line have three pipes)


Paul G. Bell, Jr. Energy Plant – Central Plant

Combined heat and power system 48 MW
Standby generation 14 MW

South Main Plant

Standby generation 2 MW

Cooling and heating pacesetting institutions at the Texas Medical Center

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