Between 2001-2004, over 5 miles of underground steam piping was replaced.
Between 2001-2004, a major utilities upgrade project was undertaken to improve system safety and efficiency and to address deferred maintenance issues. The South Campus HTHW system was converted to steam and new steam stations were installed in south campus buildings. The original HTHW equipment inside the Plant was removed to free up space for other needs. The multi-phase multi-year project included the installation of 5.3 miles of new and replacement underground steam piping becuase the original direct buried piping-- by now 25 years old-- was showing severe signs of deterioration. The new steam piping was laid out in pre-cast concrete trenches, wrapped with metal insulating jacket and sealed in vaults to protect from the elements.
In 2003-2004, a major upgrade was completed to convert the Plant from its old pneumatic controls to more modern "Delta V" direct digital controls, enabling plant operators to monitor all system performance and components on virtual display screens inside their control room. A major upgrade to the Plant's electrical service was also done.
In 2005, the Board of Trustees approved a plan to develop a centralized chilled water plant.
In 2005, as plans were underway for building a new modernized student center and as the campus demand for central air conditioning was on the rise, the UVM Board of Trustees approved a plan to develop a centralized chilled water plant to meet the future capacity needs for the Davis Center and to replace several existing inefficient decentralized chillers in other buildings.
In 2007, UVM installed the first ever steam-driven chillers in the State of Vermont.
In 2007, two 1,360 ton steam-driven York chillers were installed inside the Plant (in the space that once housed the HTHW equipment). These were the first ever steam-driven chillers in the State of Vermont. The chillers are efficient because most of the energy used comes from excess steam from the boilers that would otherwise be wasted. The chilled water was initially piped to Davis Center, Bailey-Howe Library, Royall Tyler Theater and Old Mill/Lafayette halls. Chilled water piping was extended to supply Jeffords Hall, HSRF and Given buildings.