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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
Sophie A. Akins
Partner
  • "Reducing Costs and Outsourcing Innovation Risk," MuniGrid Conference, June 2014
  • "Proposition 39 – Sole Source Requirement," School Energy Coalition's Educational Facilities Energy Emporium, April 2014
  • "Advancing a Clean Energy Future," University of San Diego School of Law Annual Climate & Energy Law Symposium, April 2011
  • Renewable Energy Executive Roundtable, San Diego Daily Transcript, June 2010 
  • "Financing Solar Energy Projects," Association of California Water Agencies Annual Spring Conference, May 2010
  • "Funding of Renewable Energy Projects," Association of Environmental Professionals 2010 Annual Conference, April 2010
  • "Off the Beaten Track: Innovative Ways to Make Money in Real Estate," Crocker Symposium, March 2010
  • "Developing Your Solar Team: Best Models for Writing RFPs for Solar Installations," Solar Schoolhouse Forum, March 2010
  • "Drafting and Negotiating Power Purchase Agreements," Center for Sustainable Energy, 2010
  • "High Performance Green Building Retrofits: Realities of Planning, Execution, Results and Financing," UCLA Green Building Symposium, 2010
  • "Beyond The Traditional: Alternative Procurement Approaches for Alternative Energy Projects," County Counsels' Association of California, Public Works and Contracts, Fall 2009
  • "Drafting and Negotiating the Optimal Power Purchase Agreement," San Diego Solar Conference, September 2009
  • “Simple Green: Demystifying Alternative Energy Projects,” BB&K Webinar, September 2009
  • "Cost-effective Energy Conservation Projects," California Association of Sanitation Agencies ("CASA") Conference, August 2009
  • "Writing the Optimal Power Purchase Agreement," Sonoma County Water Agency, July 2009
  • "Power Purchase Agreements - Meeting Performance Objectives," Coalition for Adequate School Housing ("CASH") Workshop, April 2009
  • "Photovoltaic Projects and Energy Efficiency Projects: Contracting and Constructing," CASH Statewide Conference, February 2009
  • "California Solar Projects," San Diego County School District Chief Business Officer Meeting, January 2009
  • “Should Our District go Solar?” San Diego County Office of Education Panel/Workshop, April 9, 2008
  • "Contracting for Energy Conservation Services," CASH Statewide Conference, February 2006
 

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