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Synchronous generator excitation control system is one of the most important parts of power system control. And as PID control is one of the first developed and the most widely used control schemes in excitation system, its parameters tuning problem has been highly concerned. Since MATLAB genetic algorithm toolbox has the characteristics of strong robustness and efficient optimization, this paper first establishes a mathematical model of generator excitation system, and then uses ITSE index of terminal voltage step response curve as the optimization index, computes the fitness function based on SIMULINK platform, and uses MATLAB genetic algorithm toolbox to optimize PID parameters of synchronous generator excitation control system. Applying this method to a power plant's synchronous generator excitation system, results demonstrate that dynamic characteristics are improved greatly.