Texas Medical Center Brings Combined Heat and Power Plant Online
October 5, 2010

Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO) has opened a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, TX. The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world, and now boasts the largest on-campus, district chilled water system in the country.

CHP plants can operate at almost twice the efficiency as conventional power methods – The new CHP plant will reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the Texas Medical Center by 300,000 tons annually, as well as saving approximately $1.5 million a year in energy costs.

The new CHP facility at the Texas Medical Center is powered by gas turbines, operating on many of the same principles as modern aircraft. Hot exhaust gas from the gas turbine is captured to create steam for the medical facility, and the electric and waste heat generated as a byproduct of facility functions is converted to steam and chilled water that is then used for air conditioning, dehumidification, sterilization, and space heading throughout the Texas Medical Center.

Funding for the new Texas Medical Center CHP plant was provided as part of nine Recovery Act awards, which contribute a total of around $149 million toward the advancement of energy efficient, innovative technologies at locations such as hospitals and utilities.