Financial and sustainability win — with wind

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JLL provides a renewable energy solution for Intuit’s Global HQ that is set to save $1 million in energy costs.

More than three decades ago, Intuit developed personal finance software to help families balance their budgets. Today Intuit’s mission is to power prosperity around the world. The company serves more than 42 million customers including consumers, small businesses and the self-employed. Within the company’s ecosystem of innovative financial management solutions, its flagship products include QuickBooks® and TurboTax®.

As Intuit has grown, its commitment to using the company’s position to being a good corporate citizen has remained. Being good stewards of the environment is at the core of the company’s values, and sustainability is considered in decision making company-wide.

In 2016, Intuit sought an offsite renewable energy solution to power the company’s global headquarters in Mountain View, California. With less than ten years remaining on the lease of the 188,000-square-foot Mountain View campus, Intuit wanted to obtain three megawatts of 100 percent renewable energy with a direct access contract that ensured a scheduled, known price — but without extending an agreement beyond the terms of their lease.

It was a unique case in the market. Most power purchase agreements are for longer terms — at least 15, and usually 20, years — and for larger energy purchases needed by locations that require considerably more power. Intuit’s request was highly unusual. While the lease term was too long for a typical direct access agreement, it was too short for a typical power purchase agreement. Most developers told them it was an impossible request to fulfill.

Intuit turned to JLL’s Clean Energy team to secure a cost-neutral solution that was all-inclusive from the point of electricity generation to the door of Intuit. JLL had to identify and consider not just the price of electricity, but also the transmission, distribution and congestion charges — and lock in the price for eight years, irrespective of whether the market moved up or down.

The Clean Energy team accepted the challenge to procure the direct access agreement and enhance the sustainability of Intuit’s global headquarters. JLL identified a California-based wind project less than 50 miles from the Mountain View campus that could power Intuit’s entire global headquarters. Acting as an extension of Intuit’s staff, the Clean Energy team worked to desegregate costs, simplify agreements and redraft contracts — allowing Intuit to select the best provider that met their lease terms and offered the best pricing.

“The agreement is a renewable, flexible and price-competitive solution and a win for both JLL and Intuit,” said Steve Yatsko, Vice President of Clean Energy at JLL. “We know that green, clean energy makes good business sense, and this deal allows our client to achieve economic benefits and protect our planet at the same time.”

Through this cost-neutral plan, Intuit has surpassed its carbon reduction goal four years ahead of schedule, allowing them to set higher sustainability goals for the future. With this deal, Intuit also projects $1 million in savings over the course of the eight-year contract.

JLL’s Clean Energy team will continue to work with Intuit to help them achieve their environmental objectives and set new goals for the company’s sustainable future.

Real estate expertise and renewable energy market intelligence positions JLL to offer clients the best clean energy solution that meets their specific goals and portfolio – a combination unmatched in the commercial real estate segment. 

Kyle Goehring is Vice President and National Director of Clean Energy, a division of JLL’s Energy Sustainability Services. Kyle advises corporate, investor and public-sector clients on clean energy strategies and technology opportunities.

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