skip to content

Sophie A. Akins

Partner

Indian Wells
74760 Highway 111
Suite 200
(760) 200-3056


Sophie A. Akins is a partner of Best Best & Krieger LLP and leader of the firm’s Renewable Energy practice group, specializing primarily in solar and renewable energy projects, proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and public contract issues. She also provides general governance advice to public entities.

From 2007-09, Ms. Akins worked on a little over 14% of the State’s public agency solar projects, including but not limited to, solar projects for the Poway Unified School District, Rancho California Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Valley Center Municipal Water District, the Zone 7 Water Agency and Dixon Unified School District.

Ms. Akins also represents a number of renewable energy firms and assists them with contracting, procurement and general advice. Ms. Akins regularly drafts renewable energy contracts, such as Power Purchase Agreements, and resolves solar project construction defect and performance issues.

In 2010, Ms. Akins successfully represented a coalition of San Diego County Water Districts and School Districts before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), defeating San Diego Gas & Electric's application to shut-off power to over 130,000 San Diego County residents.

Ms. Akins is currently representing a coalition of public agencies before the CPUC in the Assembly Bill 327 proceeding which will decide the grandfathering period for existing net-energy metered customers. Ms. Akins also currently represents a coalition of public agencies before the CPUC in the SDG&E Phase II Rate Case to, in part, safeguard the agencies' renewable energy investments.

In addition to her solar and renewable energy practice, Ms. Akins regularly reviews and drafts professional service agreements and public contracts for a variety of delivery methods, such as the traditional design-bid-build, design-build, lease/leaseback and public/private partnership structure.  For example, Ms. Akins was the lead contracts attorney for the City of Ontario's $150 Million Citizens Business Bank Arena, which was a multiple-prime contractor project, involving over 40 trade contracts separately bid, a separately contracted for owner’s representative and construction manager as well as the design team.

Ms. Akins also served as General Counsel to the Ramona Municipal Water District from 2006-2012.

Education

  • University of California, Hastings, J.D.
  • University of California, San Diego, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • California (2001)

Awards

  • Top 10 Energy Lawyers Under 40 in the United States - Law360.com (2010)
  • Top 25 Clean Tech Lawyers in California - The Daily Journal (2011)
  • “40 under 40” – San Diego Magazine (2010)
  • Special Commendation, City of San Diego Councilman Hueso

Memberships

  • California Center for Sustainable Energy, Board Member
  • Legislative Committee, California Special Districts Association, Member
Sophie A. Akins
Partner
  • Sign On San Diego, "Solar's Picture Brightening With Power-Purchase Deals," November 1, 2009.
  • Ramona Sentinel, "Officials Seek Common Ground on Shutoff Plan," October 14, 2009.
  • San Diego Daily Transcript, "Green Lawyers on the Rise," September 30, 2009.
  • San Diego Daily Transcript, "Solar Lawyers Expect to See Boom in Business," May 1, 2009.
  • San Diego Daily Transcript, "Bailout Bill Gives Boost to Renewable Energy Market,"  November 6, 2008.
  • Los Angeles Daily Journal, "Solar Energy Partnerships Can Help California Beat the Heat," August 25, 2006.
  • “Congress Approves H.R. 1424 Reauthorizing the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Solar Projects,”  Best Best & Krieger LLP Legal Alert
  • “New Division of the State Architect Regulations for School Solar Projects,” Best Best & Krieger LLP Legal Alert
  • “New Distributed Generation-Renewable Utility Rate Significantly Reduces Solar System Costs,” Best Best & Krieger LLP Legal Alert
  • “New Feed-In Tariffs Permit Customers to Sell Renewable Energy Directly to Public Utilities,” Best Best & Krieger LLP Legal Alert
Sophie A. Akins
Partner
  • County Counsels' Association of California, Public Works and Contracts, "Beyond The Traditional: Alternative Procurement Approaches for Alternative Energy Projects," Fall 2009.
  • San Diego Solar Conference, "Drafting and Negotiating the Optimal Power Purchase Agreement," September 2009.
  • BB&K Webinar, “Simple Green: Demystifying Alternative Energy Projects,” September 2009.
  • California Association of Sanitation Agencies ("CASA") Conference, "Cost-effective Energy Conservation Projects," August 2009.
  • Sonoma County Water Agency, "Writing the Optimal Power Purchase Agreement," July 2009.
  • Coalition for Adequate School Housing ("CASH") Workshop, "Power Purchase Agreements - Meeting Performance Objectives," April 2009.
  • CASH Statewide Conference, " Photovoltaic Projects and Energy Efficiency Projects: Contracting and Constructing," February 2009.
  • San Diego County School District Chief Business Officer Meeting, "California Solar Projects," January 2009.
  • San Diego County Office of Education, “Should Our District go Solar?” Panel/Workshop, April 9, 2008
  • CASH Statewide Conference, "Contracting for Energy Conservation Services," February 2006.
 

Send this page

X