Yochanan “Yochi” Zakai

Mr. Zakai joined Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger in 2018 and is an associate. He practices administrative and energy law with a focus on utility regulation.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Zakai was a Senior Power Analyst at Seattle City Light, the electric utility run by the City of Seattle. There, Mr. Zakai represented the utility in rate and tariff proceedings before the California Independent System Operator and Bonneville Power Administration. He led the development of policies regarding market power mitigation, resource adequacy, frequency response, day-ahead market design, interjurisdictional allocation methodologies, and carbon pricing. He advised the utility on the regionalization of the California Independent System Operator and the expansion of the Energy Imbalance Market.

Mr. Zakai advised clients on renewable energy and carbon pricing policies. He analyzed proposed energy legislation and drafted language for renewable portfolio standard (RPS) statutes and administrative rules. He evaluated changes to the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System’s Operating Rules and voluntary green power program standards.

Mr. Zakai’s transactional practice included drafting contracts for wholesale sales of energy, transmission, frequency response, operating reserves, and renewable energy credits. He supported Seattle City Light’s RPS and voluntary green power program audits.

Earlier, Mr. Zakai was a Policy Advisor to the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission where he authored regulatory orders and policy statements. In that role he advised the Commissioners on energy policy issues including rate cases; electric vehicle incentives; energy storage; the evaluation, measurement, and verification of conservation programs; cybersecurity; distributed generation; decoupling; smart grid; and renewable energy tariffs. He analyzed Integrated Resource Plans (IRP), recommended modeling improvements, attended IRP stakeholder meetings, and summarized technical details in plain English.

Mr. Zakai led the Commission’s investigation into distributed generation cost shifts and rate design, and revision of rules regarding RPS and energy efficiency resource standards (WAC 480-109) and the interconnection of distributed generation facilities (WAC 480-108).

Mr. Zakai graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law, where he was selected as a Bowerman Energy Law Fellow. During law school, he was awarded Best Brief for Appellee at the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. Mr. Zakai clerked for the Department of Energy’s Bonneville Power Administration, Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon, Vestas American Wind Technology, and Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Zakai worked for the Sierra Club and Green Business Network. He graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science.

Mr. Zakai is a member of the Oregon State Bar; he is not a member of the State Bar of California.