Helicopter Supported Core Drilling
The Alaska Energy Authority proposed a new hydroelectric project in Southern Alaska, which would include a dam, reservoir and related facilities. Upon completion (estimated 2024), the facility would provide 2.8 million MWh of annual energy.
Alaska Energy Authority
Crux completed two phases of work at the hydroelectric project. Phase one was conducted as an initial feasibility design program, which included drilling and sampling services for eight borings ranging from 150 to 400 feet. Borings were located on steep slopes 35 miles from the nearest road, and necessitated helicopter drilling techniques. Crux installed vibrating wire piezometers as needed and performed packer testing in select borings. Downhole feature orientation was also provided utilizing Crux Oriented Borehole Logging services.
Phase two included an exploration program to provide additional geotechnical information for the feasibility design program. 4 inclined borings were completed to depths ranging from 125 feet to 750 feet. Packer testing and downhole feature orientation were completed in each of the borings, and permanent instrumentation including vibrating wire piezometers were installed in select holes.
Challenges included remote locations and steep slopes, necessitating the use of helicopter support and leveling drill platforms. Initial mobilization required helicopter transport of equipment and materials from a staging location to the project site, more than 32 miles away.
The presence of wildlife required increased awareness during operations, as the area is a natural home to grizzly bears, black bears, moose, and other animals.