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This roofing company says it's figured out how to make solar shingles affordable

GAF, one of the largest roofing companies in the world, is taking on Tesla with the release of its new solar shingles. The concept of a solar shingle that blends in with a regular roof has been around for decades, but, the category has never taken off because it usually costs more and isn't as efficient as traditional solar panels. But GAF Energy believes that its new product is ready for mass adoption.
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Mon, Jan 3 20225:00 PM EST

The solar shingle has a checkered history. The Dow Chemical Company, BP Solar, and most recently, Tesla, have all tried to create a solar product that integrates seamlessly with the roof. Yet none of these companies have been able to produce reliable and affordable solar shingles at scale. Many others have gone out of business.

Despite price hikes and a slow rollout, Elon Musk still believes in the vision of Tesla's Solar Roof, and says demand for the product is strong. But now the electric car giant has a new competitor in the solar shingle space, GAF Energy. The company just released a shingle called Timberline Solar, which won the Best of Innovation Award for Smart Cities at CES.

GAF Energy is a subsidiary of Standard Industries, a privately held manufacturing business which also owns GAF, one of the largest roofing companies in the world. GAF Energy says its deep understanding of the roofing industry will allow it to succeed where others have faltered.

Watch the video to see CNBC's early look inside GAF Energy's R&D and manufacturing facility in San Jose, California, where it's assembling Timberline Solar shingles.