Lucerne Valley, CA, August 19, 2010, 7:00am  – The Lucerne Valley Solar Project cleared its final environmental review this week and, according to the project’s developers, will generate enough clean, reliable and renewable electricity to power almost 20,000 California homes. The project has the support of conservation groups working in California and nationally because it demonstrates that large-scale solar energy projects can be planned in a way that protects plants, wildlife and other desert resources.   “The Lucerne Valley Solar Project is a great example of a project that’s smart from the start,” said Johanna Wald, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  “We need clean energy, but we also need to protect our diverse wildlife, unique wildlands, and dwindling water supplies. The Lucerne Valley Project achieves the balance between meeting our clean energy needs and protecting our sensitive public lands ecosystem.”  According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management the solar panels will be located east of Victorville in the southern California desert. The 516-acre solar energy power plant is expected to break ground later this year and begin powering California homes in 2011.