Glass solar roofing tiles are coming to the market this summer, replacing conventional roofing options with an energy producing option. The higher cost option is currently aimed at a buyer who is willing to pay for the look of a glass solar roof.

A Chinese firm has developed a glass-topped solar roofing tile that should go on sale later this year, a potential challenger for Tesla's Solar Roof in the upscale solar market.

Hanergy, which is based in Beijing, announced last month it would introduce a new generation of its HanTiles in the U.S. The tiles, which combine thin-film photovoltaics with high-transmittance glass, can replace conventional roofing.

The company has opened a sales office in Burlingame, California, and says it plans on national distribution once the tiles have been certified by Underwriters Laboratories. That process should be complete by June, sales and marketing director Jeff Shubert said in a telephone call.

For now, the company is staying mum about most of the details. The announcement posted on the website PR Newswire says each tile weighs about 11 1/2 pounds, and Shubert adds that each tile could generate up to 35 watts of electricity. But no pricing information has been released, and even the physical dimensions of a tile are under wraps.

Shubert said Hanergy was waiting for UL certification before saying too much.

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