The site in Porto, northwest Portugal, is located near universities in a bit to attract electrical, mechanical and software engineering talent.
Approximately 80 people will be employed at the centre by the end of the year, with a total of "several hundred" when the centre is fully operational in 2020.
The centre is currently based in the Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto while the manufacturer assesses sites for a permanent location.
It joins Vestas' other R&D sites in Denmark, the UK, Norway, Germany and India in improving the company's technical offering.
"Vestas already leads the industry in R&D investments and by establishing an additional engineering design centre, we strengthen our R&D capabilities through the broad pool of talent available in the Porto region," said Vestas CTO Anders Vedel.