ITC is evaluating the potential construction of a large-scale pumped storage facility approximately 100 miles north of Phoenix, AZ. The goal of the project is to modernize the grid with a flexible solution to accommodate diverse generation resources, changing market demands, and ever-evolving technology inputs.
Prior to the project award, Crux collaborated with Terracon and ITC to determine the most efficient use of funds available to the feasibility study. It was decided that one 950-foot boring at the proposed powerhouse location would provide the most value, and Crux was selected to complete geotechnical drilling and testing.
The boring was track accessible but with various obstacles, and Crux worked closely with Terracon to plot an allowable path through the steep terrain and culturally protected areas. Drilling was successfully completed at 30 degrees from vertical. Various in-situ testing was then completed, including optical and acoustical downhole imaging, water permeability testing, and hydraulic fracturing and jacking. Crux worked with high pressure packer manufacturers to redesign existing tooling and meet the owner’s needs regarding data acquisition during hydro fracture testing. Crux also engaged fluid flow specialist Thomas Doe to oversee and report on water permeability testing and hydraulic fracturing. All specified data was successfully collected in the long, angled boring.
Specific project challenges included transporting water for drilling operations to the remote site. For this, Crux designed and installed an elaborate water delivery system including over 8,000 feet of water line, a 2,000 gallon water truck, standalone diesel water pumps, and temporary collapsible tanks at the drill site capable of storing 6,000 gallons of water.
Operations were successfully completed on schedule and under budget, providing valuable data to assist with future project decisions. This project is one of several that exemplifies Crux’s abilities specific to pumped storage facilities. Specialty equipment is complimented by the company’s expert staff, who have the necessary technical skills and experience to provide turnkey solutions.