Zond can now go ahead and test the wind for two years at a site in Solano County -- but planners are requiring "dead bird searches" to monitor the possible impact of anemometer masts on bird life. In December, planners approved Zond's proposal to install wind monitoring equipment at the Lopes Ranch site near Suisun Marsh. The use permit, for up to six anemometers, was issued on December 11 subject to certain conditions. Dead bird searches must be conducted one month after the monitoring starts and again in the spring and fall at the height of avian migration. The towers must not be sited near bird concentrations. Aviation "marker balls" and flight diverters must also be installed. Zond is considering installing a wind project at the site, in an area designated as "open space." The land is owned by the City of Santa Clara, although the city is itself in a different county. The site is also adjacent to one owned by utility Pacific Gas & Electric and once targeted for wind turbines. The proposal was dropped after local residents objected to it.
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