TECO Expansion

In 2007, Thermal Energy Corporation opened the door to major expansion and stepped forward to embrace the company’s largest-ever construction project.



Construction on the $377 project began in 2007 and was completed in 2011. It has transformed our energy operations and enables the company to continue to serve the energy needs of the growing Texas Medical Center.

Burns & McDonnell provided engineering design and construction management.

Expansion Results

  • TECO refunded $9 million to customers in FY2011; $2.3 million in FY2012;  $1,052,000 in FY2013; $5.038 million in FY2014; and $3.166 million in FY 2015 as a result of the energy efficiencies produced by the expansion and addition of CHP.

TECO’s $377 Million Energy-Saving Expansion

  • Thermal energy storage tank with 8.8 million-gallon capacity
  • Operations Support Facility with state-of-the-art control room featuring 24 monitors and a control room for use in natural or manmade disasters
  • Combined Heat and Power Plant No. 1 with 48 MW capacity, including a heat-recovery steam generator
  • Distribution system expansion that included a new bridge over Brays Bayou
  • East Chiller Building with 32,000 tons installed capacity, making TECO’s district cooling system the largest in the U.S. at 120,000 tons
  • East Chiller Building has room for six more 8,000-ton chillers
  • Substation upgrades

TECO Master Plan Implementation Project Highlights

  • Finished on time and under budget
  • Further improves system security and reliability
  • Increases TECO’s operating efficiency to 68%
  • Significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and regional air pollutants, equal to the emissions produced while generating electricity for more than 4,000 homes
  • Makes TECO the largest district cooling system in the U.S. with the capacity to cool the equivalent of 30,000 homes
  • Reduces load on the region’s electricity grid
  • Is expected to save $200 million for TECO and its customers by 2016
  • Projected to save TECO and its customers $200 million by 2016
  • Created or sustained more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in manufacturing, engineering and construction
  • Received $10 million U.S. Department of Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant
  • Completed more than 1,250,000 hours of work with no lost-time injuries

MADE to Respond

You’ve probably seen the images on TV: Large utility trucks leaving your area to help repair downed power lines caused by a major disaster elsewhere in the country. Everyone lends a hand. The district energy industry, too, is ready to respond.

In fact, TECO participates in the Mutual Assistance for District Energy (MADE) program through the International District Energy Association (IDEA). MADE, a voluntary program, gives participating IDEA members access to disaster assistance in the form of personnel or equipment from companies who know their business. The goal is to get the district energy system back up to full strength as quickly as possible.

In addition to TECO, MADE program members that are providing and receiving assistance include ConEdison, New York; Citizens Thermal, Indianapolis; NRG Energy Center Omaha; and Veolia North America, which has district energy systems in such locations as Philadelphia and Baltimore.

IDEA also holds annual online training sessions for participants, reviewing case studies of actual disasters and simulating emergency situations.

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