LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Sen. Harry Reid used the opening of the first solar power manufacturing plant in North America to call for government incentives to help the alternative energy industry.
At a ceremony Monday, Reid pushed a button to start a production line in Las Vegas for Palo Alto, Calif.-based solar power company Ausra Inc.
The plant will manufacture and distribute parts for solar thermal power systems.
The Democratic majority leader's call for government involvement comes at an insecure time for the renewable energy industry.
A Senate dispute erupted last week over tax credits for companies producing alternative energy.
And late last month, the Bureau of Land Management placed a moratorium on building solar power plants on public land.