Crews installed 908 utility-scale wind turbines around the country in the first quarter of this year, the strongest start in eight years, the American Wind Energy Association reported.

The projects added 2,000 megawatts of capacity. "We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined," AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said in a statement. "Each new modern wind turbine supports 44 years of full-time employment over its lifespan, so the turbines we installed in just these three months represent nearly 40,000 job years for American workers."

The construction burst comes partly because the industry is in year three of a five-year production tax credit.

Iowa continues to be one of the nation's leaders in wind energy, and was the first state to get more than 30 percent of its power from wind. The first-quarter building boom was led by Texas and Kansas, based on the sheer amount of capacity installed. North Carolina joined the wind-energy industry, building the first wind farm in the Southeast in 12 years.