Work has started off Aberdeen in preparation for a planned windfarm.
Developers are proposing 11 turbines in Aberdeen Bay for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).
The project has been fiercely opposed by US presidentuial hopeful Donald Trump, whose championship course is at nearby Menie.
Geotechnical site investigation will take place at each of the turbines to asses the seabed.
Full offshore construction is scheduled to start in late 2017 or early 2018, after an investment decision later this year.
Vattenfall and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) – the partners behind Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited (AOWFL) which is the company driving the project forward - said this week the work keeps the scheme on schedule to start in 2018.
Andy Paine, head of UK offshore wind development for Vattenfall and project director for AOWFL, said: “The pioneering EOWDC will help establish the North-east as a global centre of innovation for the offshore wind industry.
“It is through test and demonstration of next generation products and services that offshore wind will become a low cost sector.
“The preparatory works being carried out helps keep the project on schedule ahead of an investment decision later this year and first power in 2018. The partners are currently working on the basis of fully financing the more than £230 million scheme and want to see the project come to fruition.”
Aberdeen City Council leader, Councillor Jenny Laing, said “The EOWDC is a vital project for the North-east of Scotland and has reached an important point in its development.
“It will help to deliver significant and long-term economic benefits to the region and the opportunities for local energy companies will be substantial.
“The EOWDC will help to cement Aberdeen’s reputation as a global energy city and a world-leading centre for innovation.
“This is why the EOWDC has been a long-standing priority for AREG and this council.”
Donald Trump’s legal challenge to the windfarm project was rejected by the UK Supreme Court late last year.
The US businessman claimed the turbines would spoil the view from his golf links development at Menie.
His battle against the windfarm scheme started after it was approved by the Scottish Government more than two years ago.
Mr Trump launched a series of appeals in the Scottish courts before taking his fight to the UK Supreme Court in London.
Judges delivered a unanimous ruling against the tycoon’s challenge in December.