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Some high-torque electric machines, such as low-speed wind generators, may be very difficult to test on load because of the large and expensive mechanical equipment required to load them (motors) or to drive them (generators). In this paper, a full-load regenerative testing methodology is described which does not require any rotating equipment to be coupled to the machine where the rated active power flows in a closed loop between the machine and a suitably connected dual-stage converter. The successful application of this methodology to a 780-kW 14-r/min wind generator prototype is addressed as a study case. Relevant experimental results are reported in a companion paper.