The 24MW Hunterston demo project, which is being developed by utility SSE and Scottish Enterprise, will see the development and testing of three turbine prototypes over five years.
This includes the Siemens turbine, which is due to be installed any day now, plus a Mitsubishi unit and a third from another supplier, which will be installed on the Scottish Enterprise-operated berth.
The facility is Scotland’s first offshore turbine wind test site and will be an extension of SSE’s Glasgow-based Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy.
Scottish Enterprise is backing the test centre, investing £4.3 million from the National Renewables Infrastructure Fund.
Clydeport’s Hunterston site offers a number of advantages for testing offshore turbines as its wind resource replicates offshore conditions and it is already grid-connected.
It will also provide 24-hour access for modifications and repairs, an important consideration for early series prototypes.
SSE submitted a planning application and environmental statement for the project to North Ayrshire Council in September 2011 and planning consent was granted five months later.
Construction work started in March and the site should be operational by October 2013.