PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. -- Work on a $55 million biomass expansion project in Port Townsend, Wash., has been delayed because of court appeals.

Port Townsend Paper Corp. says its biomass cogeneration plant won t be completed until 2014 or 2015. It was initially projected to be operating in April.

The project would burn wood waste to generate about 24 megawatts of electricity.

The Peninsula Daily News reports ( ) environmental groups sued to challenge a clean-air permit issued for the facility. A Thurston County judge rejected their appeal last June. The groups took a case to the state appeals court, which earlier this month referred the case to the state Supreme Court.

Company officials say the biomass plant would provide an important source of alternative energy. Opponents say the plant would increase pollution.

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