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To the heartland and back: Visiting Nebraska's
Irrigation Districts for Emrgy

August 27, 2020 / by Geremy Kornreich.


A core belief of Emrgy’s Business Development mission is the critical importance to personally visit and get to know our prospective clients. It’s vital to ensure we inspect possible sites for our modular hydropower, and it’s even more important to develop trusted relationships with the people we’ll be serving and working with. If we’re going to solve problems together, we have to know each other and our situations.

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Traveling Nebraska provides many picturesque sights. This abandoned building is on the road from Ord to Sargent, a particularly windy area.

That’s made the travel shutdowns of the last few months especially challenging for us. Finally, after much preparation, VP Jeff Lints and I were safely able to visit several prospects in central Nebraska. This is a long but straightforward drive from our Colorado base, and we headed out in our rental car one morning, air conditioning cranking and mostly agreeing on musical choices. (We both love Peter Gabriel, but tend to diverge beyond that.)

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Traffic in rural Nebraska is easier and friendlier than traffic in bigger cities. It’s one of many attractive aspects of living in a smaller town.

Rural America is, indeed, rural, and we shared a lot of windshield time. We’ve been working remotely since the day I started, so this gave some great opportunities for formal and informal work discussion. It’s good to get to know your colleagues as professionals and people, and we certainly did that. Good to confirm our similar professional values and ethics, and that we both enjoy too much coffee!

We had great meetings with three different irrigation districts. Each was better than we anticipated and in different ways. Everyone was appropriately aware of safety protocols both for Covid19 and for working around canals and dams, which was reassuring.

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This dam is an ideal spot for several Emrgy hydroelectric generating turbines to be installed.

We returned with a great deal of data and information on the goals of our prospective clients, the specifics of their canals, dams, and water flows, and had the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with important people in our world. On a personal note, I’m a fan of photography and our country’s history and enjoyed seeing some historic towns and sites and grabbing a few pictures as we worked.

The trip was a big success, and we’ll be looking forward to more safe and appropriate trips soon.

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Canals and waterways are critical parts of our nation’s watershed, and often beautiful areas. This Great Blue Heron hunts for food in the Middle Loup River.