The blackout that hit Southern California during the first heat wave of the year could have been avoided if control room operators had given managers of older power plants enough time to ramp up to meet the unusually high load driven by air conditioners, according to preliminary findings by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). On the evening of March 8, 70,000 Southern California Edison customers lost power after the Path 26 transmission line became overloaded because there was insufficient power available from units in the area. ?Demand for electricity continued to climb into the early evening, but the units could not increase their output in time to match the need for electricity,? said CAISO spokesperson Stephanie McCorkle. CAISO anticipated high demand the day the heat wave hit, but the control room dispatchers did not follow operator procedures and will be disciplined, she added. The grid operator also said it would review its emergency procedures and put in place specific performance and training improvements. ?Because this was not a supply deficiency, it should not be seen as having any bearing on grid operations this summer,? added Jim Detmers, CAISO vice president of operations. After this year?s snowpack is assessed, the grid operator will release its report forecasting this summer?s supply and demand.