Paul G. Bell, Jr., a TECO Proponent and Visionary

Paul Gervais Bell, Jr. played a pivotal role in the history – even the very existence – of Thermal Energy Corporation. In late 2013, Bell stepped down as chairman of TECO’s Board of Directors after 14 years at the helm. He passed away in October 2016.

Paul Gervais Bell, Jr.Bell’s connection to the chilled-water and steam system that serves today’s Texas Medical Center dates back to when he chaired the building committee for expansion of St. Luke’s Hospital in the mid-1960s. Rather than installing chillers and boilers to serve only St. Luke’s, he suggested developing a central cooling and heating facility for the entire TMC campus. Following a positive feasibility study, Bell helped select the companies to construct, own and operate the new plant and distribution system.

In 1969, Bell participated in the new plant’s inauguration. In the 1970s, he helped establish what today is known as TECO, which acquired the system from the previous owner and operator.

He began serving on TECO’s Board of Directors in the late 1970s, and in 1999 was appointed the company’s chairman. His crowning achievement was guiding TECO’s board through a master planning process and acceptance of proposed multiyear construction of combined heat and power plant, thermal energy storage tank, additional chilled-water capacity and distribution system expansion to serve the growing needs of Texas Medical Center.

In 2014, TECO’s Board of Directors voted to rename the company’s Central Plant the Paul G. Bell Jr. Energy Plant in his honor.

We are forever grateful for his foresight and are honored to carry forward his legacy on the Texas Medical Center campus.
Photo courtesy the family of Paul G. Bell, Jr. Artist Dorothy Haase.

Cooling and heating pacesetting institutions at the Texas Medical Center

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