Exploratory Drilling for Pumped Storage

The Salt River Pumped Storage Project involves evaluating two potential sites for a new pumped storage hydropower facility.  SRP has been operating pumped storage units on the Horse Mesa and Mormon Flat dams for over 40 years, and an expansion in pumped storage capabilities will assist in increasing their supply of reliable, affordable and sustainable energy.

Team Members


Crux Subsurface

Crux’s Role

Crux provided geotechnical drilling and sampling services during the investigation phase of the project, completing 14 helicopter-supported borings to depths of between 100 and 1,500 feet. Conventional access to the borings was unfeasible due to challenging topography and unimproved roadways. In addition, the project was subject to various BLM and USFS restrictions, including a mandatory Eagle Buffer Shutdown, which impacted schedules and required advance planning and flexibility.

Highly fractured subsurface conditions were encountered during drilling, making fluid retention a challenge and requiring increased amounts of water to complete operations. Due to the same access challenges faced during mobilization, driving or pumping additional water to the sites became unachievable. These issues were mitigated by using helicopter support to fly the needed water to each boring location.

Crux successfully completed packer testing, hydraulic fracture testing, downhole imaging and instrument installation at the direction of the client.

Borings were successfully drilled up to 1,500 feet in highly fractured conditions. 

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