Modern wind power plants are required and designed to ride through faults in electrical networks, subject to fault clearing. Wind turbine fault current contribution is required from most countries with a high amount of wind power penetration. In order to comply with such grid code requirements, wind turbines usually have solutions that enable the turbines to control the generation of reactive power during faults. This paper addresses the importance of using an optimal injection of active current during faults in order to fulfil these grid codes. This is of relevant importance for severe faults, causing low voltages at the point of common coupling. As a consequence, a new wind turbine current controller for operation during faults is proposed. It is shown that to achieve the maximum transfer of reactive current at the point of common coupling, a strategy for optimal setting of the active current is needed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.