Rob Martens is the president of a solar construction business, based on Prospect Avenue, in Cleveland. Since its start in 2007, Better Together Solar and its predecessor companies, have installed and manage more than 5MW of commercial and residential solar systems, working with top-tier organizations like Baldwin Wallace University, Near West Theatre, Ohio Desk, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Vitamix, Fortec Medical, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, Lake Ridge Academy, Fairmount Santrol, Kalman and Pabst Photo Group, and Cumberland Development. Their focus on rugged, reliable solar installations has earned them a reputation for quality, aesthetics and productivity.
Moreover, Martens has backed up his passion for solar with more than $4Million invested in solar arrays and inventing a new solar racking solution. Working with ACME Express, this development project has garnered $1.5 Million in Phase 1 & 2 awards from the Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Thirty-one years ago, Martens published a critical analysis of the US Renewable Energy Program. At the time, commercially available solar technology was in its infancy. Much of it was made by hand in small batches. Over the years, Rob kept a close eye on the industry and became very excited in 2000. Around that time, battery-less grid tied inverters became commercially available, allowing photovoltaic systems to be installed without the cost, risk, and inherent inefficiencies of lead-acid batteries. After 14 years in California, Rob and his family returned to the Cleveland area in 2001.
A homegrown resource, Martens graduated from University School, went on to receive a bachelor's degree from Miami University and masters from San Diego State University. Martens has an extensive technical and business experience from his time with the U.S. Navy for 15 years, The Lincoln Electric Company and Key Bank. Martens is a Certified Solar PV installer and designer having successfully passed the NABCEP exam in 2009 as well as re-certifying in 2012, 2015 and 2018.
Martens and his wife, Holley now live in San Diego and have three children, Alycia, Charlie and Claire.