Grid connected wind turbines are fluctuating power sources that may produce flicker during continuous operation. This paper presents a simulation model of a MW-level variable speed wind turbines with a permanent magnet synchronous generator (PMSG) and a full-scale converter developed in the simulation tool of PSCAD/EMTDC. Flicker emission of this system is investigated during continuous operation. The dependence of flicker emission on wind characteristics (mean speed, turbulence intensity), 3p torque oscillations due to wind shear and tower shadow effects and grid conditions (short circuit capacity, grid impedance angle) are analyzed. Flicker mitigation is realized by output reactive power control of the variable speed wind turbines with PMSG. Simulation results show the output reactive power control is an effective measure to mitigate the flicker during continuous operation of grid connected wind turbines.