Current CASF round pushes $42 million with 7 projects pending

by Steve Blum • , , ,

The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) has been tapped for $41.7 million in grants and $127,000 in loans for 15 projects at this point in the current round of applications. That’s the total following last week’s approval of four projects by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Twelve last mile projects account for $23.4 million in grants. Two others – Klamath River and Cressman – combine last and middle mile facilities. One, Sunesys, is pure middle mile. Together, those three amount to $18.3 million.

Ten projects have been withdrawn, rejected or are otherwise off the table, and 7 are still pending. Based primarily on what was stated in the initial applications, the amount under consideration is $38.4 million, although it’s likely that some of those numbers have since shifted. If you assume only some will be approved, there’s likely to be something like $140 million left in the CASF grant fund when the program is rebooted this summer (perhaps in the July or August time frame), more than the $130 million I previously estimated. But it’s still a moving target.

On the other hand, the loan fund has hardly been touched. Of the projects still under consideration, 3 are asking for loans totalling $1.4 million. Originally set at $15 million and later reduced by the state legislature to $10 million, most of it will remain available to applicants, even if all three are approved.

The current round began more than 14 months ago when 32 projects were submitted on 1 February 2013. At least three – a Surfnet proposal for the Santa Cruz mountains and Race Communications projects in Mojave and California City – were withdrawn because the incumbent cable companies upgraded service.