Technical Program


"The Path Towards a Major Utility Commitment for 100% Carbon-Free Electricity"

Ronald A. Sinton
Sinton Instruments

Ronald A. Sinton is founder and president of Sinton Instruments, based in Boulder, Colorado. Ron received his PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1987. His studies at Stanford included the demonstration of 28%-efficient silicon concentrator solar cells and many aspects of the device physics of silicon solar cells. As a Research Associate at Stanford, Ron developed simplified versions of the sophisticated point-contact solar cell designs that could maintain the high efficiency while minimizing the process complexity. He continued this work during the early years of SunPower Corporation, focusing on solar cell designs and manufacturing processes potentially suitable for commercialization.

Dr. Sinton founded Sinton Consulting in 1992. The company soon focused on the development of novel test and measurement instruments. Many innovations from Sinton Instruments have become standard within the R&D community and the silicon manufacturing industry. Running a metrology company has proven to be an effective way to be at the center of both of the R&D and manufacturing communities, offering opportunities to contribute at the most technical academic level as well as providing instrumentation to support tens of GWs of silicon solar cell and module production. Ron received the Cherry Award at the 2014 IEEE PVSC and an R&D 500 award in 2005.

In recent years, Ron has also pursued his interest in renewable-energy statistics and how they influence the public decisions to implement renewables. This led him to follow a recent utility resource plan through the Colorado public utilities commission including personally engaging the most vocal opponents of renewables as well as the advocates involved in the process. The details of this state proceeding are relevant to the bigger story of an 8-state utility committing to carbon-free electricity.