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This paper presents a novel control system for the operation of a switched reluctance generator (SRG) driven by a variable speed wind turbine. The SRG is controlled to drive a wind energy conversion system (WECS) to the point of maximum aerodynamic efficiency using closed loop control of the power output. In the medium and low speed range, the SRG phase current is regulated using pulsewidth-modulation (PWM) control of the magnetizing voltage. For high speeds the generator is controlled using a single pulse mode. In order to interface the SRG to the grid (or ac load) a voltage-source PWM inverter is used. A 2.5-kW experimental prototype has been constructed. Wind turbine characteristics are emulated using a cage induction machine drive. The performance of the system has been tested over the whole speed range using wind profiles and power impacts. Experimental results are presented confirming the system performance.