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Traditionally, off-line modeling and simulation has been the tool of choice for improving wind energy system control strategies their utility system integration. This paper exploits how a newly established real-time hardware-in-loop (HIL) test facility, designed for testing all-electric ship propulsion systems, can be utilized for wind energy research. The test site uses two 2.5 MW/220 rpm dynamometers and a 5 MW variable voltage and frequency converter to emulate a realistic dynamic environment, both mechanically and electrically. The facility is controlled by a digital real-time electric power system simulator (RTDS), capable of simulating electrical networks and control systems of substantial complexity, typically with 50 microseconds time step. Substantial I/O allows the feedback of measured quantities into the simulation. A 15 kW mock-up motor-generator set is used to demonstrate some critical aspects of the concept. From dynamic test results presented it is concluded that the proposed system shows great potential for development of a one-of-a-kind wind energy research platform.