HOUGHTON, MI–(Marketwired – Aug 12, 2015) – Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (
Up to now, there have been limited real-time measurements in this environmentally and economically important section of the Great Lakes. ”The Straits of Mackinac are probably the most heavily travelled portion of all the Great Lakes,” said Guy Meadows, GLRC director and leader of the Enbridge Partners sponsored project.
Commercial shipping, the U.S. Coast Guard, fishing, ferries and tourism all depend on the Straits, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The confluence of these two large lakes causes complex and constantly changing currents and other conditions that affect those using the waterway. In addition, there are a variety of underwater structures in the area, such as Enbridge’s Line 5 and municipal utilities.
“Employing the expertise of the GLRC will provide important information to keep the Straits safe for everyone who uses the waterway,” said Dave Hoffman, senior manager of Research, Development and Innovation, Enbridge Pipelines. “Enbridge Partner’s Line 5, which crosses under the Straits, is diligently monitored 24/7. The dual pipelines are operated and inspected using state-of-the-art tools and technologies. This buoy, also state-of-the-art, will give us additional data to enhance our legacy of safe operations that dates back for more than 60 years. Enbridge Partners is proud to be part of this project, which will benefit all who use and enjoy the Straits.”
The new buoy will be equipped with standard weather and wave sensors and an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) that measures the flow of the water beneath the buoy by “looking downward” using sound waves. The ADCP will measure the magnitude and direction of currents at one-meter intervals from near the surface to the bottom.
The buoy will also measure wind direction and speed, wind gust speed, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, water temperature, wave height and direction.
“Enbridge Partners’ support allows us to further our development of advanced numerical predictive models for the Great Lakes,” Meadows said. ”We will now be able to verify the predictions of the very complex flows through the Straits of Mackinac with real-time data from the buoy. It will also enable us to verify our new numerical hydrodynamic model of the combined Lakes Michigan and Huron.” The computer model is running on the GLRC’s new supercomputer, nicknamed “Superior.”
The buoy is being assembled at the GLRC in Houghton, Mich. It is anticipated that the buoy will be deployed this month, west of the Mackinac Bridge and on the Upper Peninsula side of the Straits, where the water is approximately 100 feet deep.
Once in operation, the data it collects will be displayed on the GLRC’s UGLOS website and updated every 10 minutes. All data will be accessible to the public at http://uglos.mtu.edu.
“We previously have worked with Michigan Tech and its GLRC to conduct inspections of Line 5,” said Hoffman. “We are impressed with the professionalism and expertise of the GLRC staff. When presented with this buoy-monitoring opportunity, Enbridge Partners was eager to sponsor this effort. This two-year project provides an additional layer of monitoring in the area to keep our pipelines safe and protect this sensitive and important waterway.”
About Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P.
Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. owns and operates a diversified portfolio of crude oil and, through its interests in Midcoast Energy Partners, L.P. (“Midcoast Partners”), natural gas transportation systems in the United States. Its principal crude oil system is the largest pipeline transporter of growing oil production from western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken formation. The system’s deliveries to refining centers and connected carriers in the United States account for approximately 17 percent of total U.S. oil imports. Midcoast Partners’ natural gas gathering, treating, processing and transmission assets, which are principally located onshore in the active U.S. Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast areas, deliver approximately 2.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily. Enbridge Partners is recognized by Forbes as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America.
About Michigan Technological University
Michigan Technological University is a leading public research university in Houghton, on the shores of the Portage Waterway in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Michigan Tech’s mission is preparing students to create the future. The University’s world-class faculty conducts research and develops new technologies to help build a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech’s five colleges and schools offer more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business and economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes forward-looking statements and projections, which are statements that do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements frequently use the following words, variations thereon or comparable terminology: “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “forecast,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “position,” “projection,” “should,” “strategy,” “target,” “will” and similar words. Although Enbridge Partners believes that such forward-looking statements are reasonable based on currently available information, such statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are not guarantees of performance. Future actions, conditions or events and future results of operations may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that will determine these results are beyond the Enbridge Partners ability to control or predict. Specific factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements include: (1) the design, construction, operation of the buoy and reporting of its information by GLRC; (2) operating performance of Enbridge Partners for funding of the project; and (3) changes in laws or regulations to which the Enbridge Partners, the GLRC, the UGLOS or any other aspect of this project is subject, including compliance with environmental and safety regulations; and (4) necessary permitting.
Except to the extent required by law, we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Reference should also be made to Enbridge Partners’ filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and any subsequently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for additional factors that may affect results. These filings are available to the public over the Internet at the SEC’s web site (www.sec.gov) and at Enbridge Partners’ web site.
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Michigan Technological University